The Innovation Hub launches youth empowerment programme

McCleanThe Innovation Hub, an innovation agency of the Gauteng Province through its Fablab School programme, in collaboration with PrimeStars Marketing launched Step up 2 a Start-up IV programme at Montecasino on Thursday, 7 July 2017. Step up 2 a Start Up programme is aimed at providing solutions for thousands of young South Africans who face a future without work.

The Innovation Hub said it is fitting for the FabLab Schools Programme to be in association with the Step up 2 Start Up initiatives that seeks to combat youth unemployment, as well identify and nurture entrepreneurship in high school learners. This is to ensure that a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation is instilled at an early age. The FabLab School programme works in collaboration with schools in disadvantaged communities around Gauteng to provide learners with access to grassroots training in technology and also to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset at an early age.

The evening was attended by over 300 guests, including the programme’s sponsors, government officials, media and other supporting parties.

Emerging from the theme Seeking Opportunity, Connecting People and Creating Sustainable Value, this year’s programme will focus on social entrepreneurship. Learners will be tasked with finding innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social and environmental problems. Just as entrepreneurs change the face of business, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society. Social entrepreneurs are those that seize opportunities that others are often oblivious to; they improve systems, invent new approaches and create solutions that change society for the better.

“We are pleased to be part of Step UP 2 Start Up Programme initiative to advance and combat youth unemployment, the success of future innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem is dependent on the youth, Step up 2 Start Up Programme is an important instrument in supporting these future innovators,” said McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub

Young people tapping into existing knowledge, to grow and build their own skill set. Starting on 12 August 2017, learners in grades 9 – 11 will begin their journey into the world of entrepreneurship, an introduction which will be made to them by the movie titled “Vukuzenzele”. Vukuzenzele will be screened at 15 Ster Kinekor cinemas nationwide over a period of five weeks. Each learner will receive a Toolkit which will assist them in implementing the skills learnt through this educational film, and allow them to develop their own business ideas and models.

As the programme enters its second phase, learners will be given the opportunity to compete in an entrepreneurial competition by submitting their business model canvasses for assessment and adjudication by a panel of industry professionals and sponsors. During this process, at least nine top business models will be identified and the teams responsible will be invited to attend a boot camp in Johannesburg. This boot camp will hone and polish participants’ skills, and encourage them to start to thinking about developing and starting their businesses based on the ideas submitted. The boot camp will conclude with a prestigious Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony.

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